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A 33-year-old member asked:

how do doctors diagnose multiple sclerosis (ms)? what are the typical symptoms?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jonathan Dissin
Neurology 39 years experience
Diagnosed by MRI.: Typically MS is diagnosed by mri, but in some patients may require a spinal tap or other specialized studies. These tests may include optical coherence tomography (oct) or visual evoked potentials (ver or veps). Symtoms include numbness and tingling usually on one side of the body starting in the hands and toes and progressing proximally. Weakness in the same distribution. Painful visual loss.
Dr. William Shaffer
Neurology 17 years experience
MRI/story/exam: Ms is diagnosed with MRI brain and c-spine, history and exam. My symptoms were numbess and fatigue.
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Excellent question: Subtle problems early on can be very misleading and indeed, can confuse docs. Some common early signs include loss of vision in one eye, weakness in legs or arms, electrical shocks on flexing neck, gait imbalance or incoordination, numbness or tingling, vague persistent fatigue, even confusion or disorientation. MRI's are commonly helpful, but spinal tap may be necessary.

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A member asked:

Should I breastfeed if I have ms?

4 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Russell Faust
Dr. Russell Faustanswered
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 29 years experience
Yes: Ms will not affect your ability to nurse your baby, will not affect the course of your ms, and will not "transmit" anything harmful to your baby, provided that you clear your medications with your pediatrician.
A 23-year-old member asked:

Can I get pregnant even though I have ms?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Virginia Simnad
Neurology 28 years experience
Yes: Recent studies do not show MS as a risk for increased fetal loss or abnormalities. Generally, the disease quiets down during pregnancy. Pregnancy per se does not worsening the natural course of ms, and may in part be protective. Talk to your neurologist about a planned pregnancy and need to discontinue MS disease modifying drugs (and possible other medications) well ahead of trying to conceive.
Dr. Walter Husar
Neurology 33 years experience
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disabling disorder of the nervous system, but has no significant impact on the course of pregnancy.
Oct 13, 2013
A 21-year-old member asked:

How is multiple sclerosis diagnosed?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Virginia Simnad
Neurology 28 years experience
Detective Work: No one diagnostic study can stand alone to conclusively diagnose ms. A neurologist must be a detective, hunting out clues from symptoms suggesting abnormal function in the brain or spinal cord white matter, of appropriate duration (greater than 24 hours) coupled with abnormalities on examination. Mri, spinal fluid, and certain blood tests. This information can help exclude MS mimickers.
A 22-year-old member asked:

Is multiple sclerosis fatal?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Virginia Simnad
Neurology 28 years experience
Not usually: Ms is a chronic neurological condition, characterized by episodes of neurological disability of variable severity and recovery. A minority of inidividuals can have a very aggressive course, and become so disabled that they are at risk of secondary medical complications which may be fatal. There are subtypes of MS which are so aggressive that a fatal outcome can happen. Fortunately these are rare.
A 36-year-old member asked:

What can I do to help my daughter who has tuberous sclerosis?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tsu-Yi Chuang
Dermatology 50 years experience
No cure: It's a genetic disease. Only supportive treatment available, no cure.

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Last updated Aug 6, 2017

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